Keystone XL is X’ed out


Photo by shannonpatrick17

The Keystone XL would start in Canada and run through South Dakota to Montana.

Cathleen Weng, News Editor

Heavily debated and widely controversial, Keystone XL remains one of the most pressing issues facing the U.S. today.

TransCanada began building the Keystone Pipeline in 2010, intending for it to run through the U.S. and Canada to more easily transport and distribute oil. Three phases of this pipeline have already been built, but the fourth, Keystone XL, has been paused, restarted and paused again, all in the course of a few years.

Construction of the pipeline was first delayed by former president Barack Obama in 2015. When President Donald Trump took office in 2017, he passed an executive order to complete the pipeline. More recently, in November of 2018, federal Judge Brian Morris blocked the Keystone XL when the Indigenous Environment Network sued the Trump Administration, which does not permanently block TransCanada from attaining a federal permit, but does order a review of the potential dangers of Keystone XL.

Morris declared that the Trump administration had ignored information about climate change and used outdated data to support their point, deciding that the Trump administration did not have reasoned explanations for its decision. Trump, however, disagrees with the ruling, calling it a disgrace.

The Keystone XL would have a major impact on South Dakota in particular, as the pipeline would pass through the state. Environmental worries have led to protests within the state, particularly from environmentalists and Native Americans, for whom the pipeline poses a particular problem due to the potential pollution, water contamination and damage to sacred sites. Junior Delilah Rouse attended one of these protests her freshman year.

“The Keystone Pipeline is really irrelevant and it shouldn’t be processed through the lands of the Dakotas and other states too because not only are we gonna be destructing our water source, but the land as well,” said Rouse. “If it’s gonna just cause profit for unhappy businessmen, I don’t think it should be allowed here because it’s not gonna make our children happy and it’s not gonna make the school happy; it’s not gonna make you happy or myself happy, so I honestly think it’s a bad idea that it’s being put in place.”

There will now be a closer look taken the potential impacts of the pipeline, including its effects on climate change, cultural resources and endangered species, according to Washington Post, essentially allowing for a complete redo with the Keystone XL debate.

“I say be aware of your surroundings and continue to fight back the system, who are wanting these oil rigs, who just want profit for their selfish needs,” said Rouse. “Continue to help your environment grow, don’t pollute or anything, and once again, be aware of your surroundings.”